Sinus Headache Vs Migraine
According to the American Migraine Foundation, 50 percent of migraine misdiagnoses start with a person thinking they have a sinus headache. The Mayo Clinic points out that 90 percent of people who go to the doctor for a sinus headache find out they have a migraine instead.
If you dont have any of the symptoms that come specifically with a sinus headache, you may be experiencing a migraine. Migraines are treated differently from sinus headaches. If you experience symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or sensitivity to light, youre likely having a migraine and not a sinus headache.
Irrigate Your Sinuses To Help Ease Symptoms And Prevent Sinus Infections
Nasal irrigation is basically a method of using a saltwater solution to force out germs and plugged-up mucus residing in the sinus passages. Other terms for this are nasal wash, nasal douche, or lavage. Some people refer to it by one of the popular devices used to get the water in, a neti pot.
A small number of studies has found irrigation can improve symptoms, including one review published in September 2016 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Experts caution that it is important to use distilled or sterile water to avoid the rare possibility of introducing a parasite into your sinus passageways.
Sinus Headache Symptoms & Treatment Options
Sinus headaches can bring acute discomfort to the sufferer, and are commonly experienced as pain across the forehead, nose and cheekbones. Sharp movements of the head can result in bursts of pain, making everyday life uncomfortable.
For many sufferers, diagnosing whether you have a sinus issue or a migraine can be tricky. If you or your child areexperiencing the symptoms of sinus headache or a possible migraine, Dr. Chacko will diagnose the issue and work to find the best sinus treatment solution for you. Serving families in the Atlanta area, Chacko Allergy is ready to help.
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Easy Natural Remedies Help Mucus Flow
In many cases, sinushome remedies including those things your mother told you to do can effectively improve inflamed sinuses, says Anthony Del Signore, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City.
These treatments sooth irritated passageways and increase the flow of mucus so you dont feel so stuffed up, he explains.
Request An Appointment For Sinus Headache Treatment At Houston Ent
If you feel pain or pressure around your sinuses, don’t automatically think it’s because you’re experiencing a sinus headache. Carefully note your symptoms and pay attention for other symptoms and signs of a sinus infection, such as green nasal discharge or fever.
If your sinus pain doesn’t go away, talk with our Houston ENT physician about the pressure behind your forehead, eyes or cheeks. They’ll sit down with you and go over the different treatment options available that could help you find relief from any discomfort you’re experiencing. Or, you can take advantage of our telemedicine appointments.
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Anatomy Of A Sinus Headache
Sinus headaches occur when pressure and mucus build up in the sinus cavities and airways inside the nose. Though rare, sinus headaches can also occur in the absence of congestion. Besides frequent headaches, sinus sufferers may experience intense pressure and tenderness above and below their eyes, in the sinus cavity areas surrounding their noses and even in their jaws or necks. Headaches are often one of the most painful symptoms of sinus infections.
Head pain related to sinusitis is often secondary to other health conditions, such as migraines, hypertension, allergies. Though most types of headaches are manageable with pain relievers and other remedies, those that involve sinus infections typically require treatment of the underlying condition and infected sinus cavities for relief.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sinus Headaches
Patients with migraines or tension headaches commonly have sinus and nasal symptoms during their headaches, including sinus pressure, sinus pain, nasal congestion or runny nose. Studies of patients who have self-diagnosed or been diagnosed with sinus headaches were found to have migraines or tension headaches in more than 80 percent of cases only three to five percent of these patients had sinusitis.
Symptoms of sinusitis and migraine headaches can be similar, which can be confusing about what is causing sinus pain and pressure. Migraines and headaches can cause the following nasal symptoms:
- Pain and pressure around the eyes, across the cheeks, and the forehead
- Nasal congestion
- Eye redness, tearing, or eyelid swelling
- Symptoms on one or both sides of the face
Sinusitis is associated with nasal congestion or obstruction and a thick nasal discharge, sometimes with facial pain, pressure, or a feeling of fullness. However, facial pain or pressure or fullness without cloudy or colored nasal discharge is most likely not a sinus infection.
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What Tests Diagnose The Causes Of A Sinus Headache
The health-care professional will likely begin by taking a history of the symptoms to help come to the diagnosis. Contributing factors in the development of sinusitis and headache may include a recent cold or upper respiratory tract infection, history of smoking, environmental allergies to dust or molds, as well as recent airplane travel, swimming or SCUBA diving, or other activities involving air pressure changes within the facial sinuses.
Physical examination may reveal tenderness to percussion, or tapping, over the affected sinus that reproduces the pain. Examination of the ears may reveal a serous otitis, or fluid levels behind the eardrum in the middle ear, that may suggest drainage problems in the face and sinuses. Examination of the nose may reveal swollen nasal passages and discharge. Evaluation of the mouth and teeth may find a source of infection, and the back of the throat may be examined for signs of postnasal drainage.
What Home Remedies Help Soothe Sinus Headache Symptoms
There are a number of self-care measures available to help decrease sinus congestion and promote drainage of the sinuses, providing relief for sinus headache.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help you stay hydrated.
- Breathe humidified air.
- OTC pain medicationssuch as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help control pain.
- such as pseudoephedrine may be useful in promoting drainage of the sinuses. People with high blood pressure or heart conditions should check with their healthcare practitioner before using these medications. A number of over-the-counter decongestant medications are available, either singly or in combination with antihistamines, pain relievers, and/or anti-inflammatory medications.
- are also available that contain decongestant medications, but these should not be used for more than three days, due to the possibility of rebound inflammation, a worsening of the condition once use of the spray has stopped.
- Inhaled steroid preparations are sometimes prescribed to treat allergic sinusitis, and bacterial infections of the sinuses are treated with antibiotics.
- Antihistamines may be useful if allergies such as hay fever are the cause of congestion.
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Sinus Headache Medicine In A Pinch
The best sinus headache medicine is of course plenty of fluids and a bit of TLC. There are many treatments that will help ease your pain naturally however, if you need some instant relief, you should consider over-the-counter medication.
That being said, if you are taking these medications regularly for ten days in a row, you should consult your physician to find a more permanent solution.
What Prescription Medications Treat A Sinus Headache Pain And Pressure
Headaches from allergies can be relieved with a prescription for nasal steroids sprays unless there is a contraindication. This may be helpful along with nasal saline rinses to decrease inflammation within the nasal passages and treat or prevent sinusitis.
If a bacterial infection is suspected, the health-care professional may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and at the same time make suggestions to treat the underlying inflammation. To establish the diagnosis of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis and the need for antibiotics, your doctor should confirm that symptoms of acute rhinosinusitis have been present for 10 days or are worsening. Symptoms should include pus-like nasal drainage, nasal obstruction, facial pain, or pressure. If the inflammation does not resolve before the antibiotic course is complete, the bacterial infection may recur.
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Important Tips And Different Ways To Get Relief From Sinus Headache
Other than remedies using ingredients, here are some of the things you can incorporate in daily life to get relief from sinus headache.
Which Sinus Headache Medicine Should I Use
If you notice pain or pressure behind your eyes around your sinuses, you may be suffering from a sinus headache. Frequent sinus headaches are certainly a cause for concern, and if you find yourself constantly congested, you should visit an ENT to discover the real root of the problem.
However, in the meantime, you can turn to over-the-counter drugs for a bit of temporary relief. Below, well discuss the three common types of sinus headache medicine and how they can help.
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When To See A Doctor For Sinus Issues
If your symptoms persist more than one to two weeks, you should consult with your physician.
Youll want to check with your doctor even sooner if you have a severe case of a sinus infection including a high fever, swelling around the eyes, and red and inflamed skin, among other symptoms, Del Signore says.
In this case, or if your symptoms do not clear up within two weeks, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic.
Ok But What Can I Do If My Sinus Headache Wont Go Away
The best treatment for bacterial sinus infections and headaches caused by bacterial sinusitis is a full round of antibiotics. However, there are several steps you can take at home to ease the discomfort of a sinus headache that wont go away. These remedies include:
- OTC pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- OTC antihistamines, decongestants, or saline sprays
- Taking a hot bath or shower
- Using a humidifier
If you have chronic sinus infections, though, there are treatments that can provide a more long-term solution. Of these options, balloon sinuplasty is currently the most minimally-invasive treatment available.
Balloon sinuplasty is an in-office procedure that can provide lasting sinus relief in under twenty minutes. During the procedure, your ENT inflates a small balloon inside your sinus cavities, expanding them enough to restore proper drainage. Unlike other sinus surgeries, balloon sinuplasty does not involve the cutting of any bone or tissue, reducing both recovery time and complications. The procedure has an extremely high success rate .
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Best Medicines For Sinus Pressure 2020
If you are experiencing increased sinus pressure, it is possible that youre feeling significant pain around different areas of your face: this is most likely caused by an accumulation of mucus, which results in a congested sinus. Not only is it painful, but it also makes it difficult for you to go about your daily routine.
Fortunately, there isnt a need for us to simply soldier through the discomfort because of the sheer number of different treatments available for sinus pressure. However, it is not uncommon for people to accidentally delay relief as a cause of purchasing the wrong products when in the drugstore.
Prevent the expensive episode of trial and error and make sure to buy the best medicine for sinus pressure that works by checking out this buying guide.
Differentiate Between Sinus Headache And Migraine Headache
Many people who assume they are having sinus pain due to sinus pressure are actually having a migraine headache. Migraine pain can involve the same nerves as the sinus cavities and is frequently accompanied by nasal congestion, nausea, and aggravation by bright light. “If sinus pain is caused by a migraine, the best natural treatment is lying down in a dark, quiet room,” advises Das.
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What Triggers Sinus Headaches
Sinus headaches are usually triggered by an infection, particularly after a viral upper respiratory infection or cold. This happens because the infection produces thick mucus that can clog the sinus cavities.
The sinuses are a connected system of hollow cavities in the skull. The largest sinus cavity is about an inch across, while others are much smaller. The two largest cavities are located near your cheekbones and the low-center area of your forehead. Pain felt during a sinus headache is usually in these two areas.
The main function of sinus cavities is to produce mucus that moisturizes the inside of our nose. This mucus layer protects the nose from pollutants, bacteria, dust, and dirt.
However, when mucus becomes too thick to pass through the cavities, it can get clogged or even infected. This leads to thick, discolored nasal mucus, a decreased sense of smell, and pain in the cheek, forehead, or upper teeth.
What Can An Ent Do To Reduce Or Prevent Sinus Pain
There are multiple ways to relieve sinus pain including, pain-free balloon sinuplasty. Balloon sinuplasty is an endoscopic nasal surgery that uses small balloon catheters to drain the large nasal sinuses. This is an almost immediate way to relieve pressure and can dramatically improve the quality of life for those with a deviated septum.
Request an appointment to see if balloon sinuplasty is the right treatment option for you.
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How Do You Diagnose Sinus Headaches Caused By Migraines
Sinus headaches are most likely due to migraines or tension headaches. Migraines are diagnosed by symptoms, including the frequency and severity of symptoms, family history, and by physical exam. Migraines can also include nausea and vomiting. These episodes may be triggered by hormonal changes, lack of sleep, certain foods or alcohol or caffeine, stress, or environmental changes like weather, altitude changes, or allergens. Many patients with migraines have family members who also experience migraine headaches.
If you have unusual or severe symptoms, additional tests such as an MRI of the brain may be ordered to rule out more serious conditions that can cause headache pain, such as tumors or bleeding around the brain. If you have repeated episodes of sinus pain and pressure, a nasal endoscopy or imaging such as an MRI or CT scan can determine if sinus pain or pressure is due to a sinus infection or other sinus pathology. A normal sinus CT scan while you have symptoms could help rule out sinusitis, and determine if migraines, headaches, or other causes of facial pain and pressure are causing the sinus symptoms.
Other causes of facial pain and pressure can include temporomandibular joint syndrome, clenching or grinding your teeth, trigeminal nerve pain, temporal arteritis , dental infection, or other neurologic causes of facial pain.
What Is The Prognosis For A Sinus Headache
Most people with sinus headache recover completely, although many people may develop sinus headache again in the future.
Complications of sinus headache are not common. Rarely, an untreated sinus infection can erode through the bones and involve adjacent structures, including the eye socket or brain, potentially causing pain and swelling of the eye or symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis. Infection that spreads to the blood vessels in the area of the sinuses can cause inflammation and blood clots. The cavernous sinus is a collection of veins located near the sphenoid sinus that can potentially become infected and form blood clots.
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Other Home Remedies For Sinus Headaches
As well as the remedies discussed above, there are several other things you can do to ease or prevent a sinus headache
Stay well hydrated and make sure you get plenty of fluids. Use a humidifier if you have one. Get plenty of rest. Avoid activities or known allergens that may trigger a sinus headache.